The Joy of Meditative Action


Dear Friends,

I’d like to share a story that I wrote in my 5 Steps to a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy book.  The story tells of a great spiritual teacher who was advising his students, all of whom were on a disciplined path of learning to become monks. The students had one year left in their training and great interest in their future life once they achieved enlightenment, which was to happen around the end of their training. All the students thought that during their last year of training they would complete all the disciplines of a monk’s life and continue to live in the mountains far away from the worldly pursuits and concerns of their fellow citizens. The students thought they would lead a simple life, pray and meditate, live in peace, and only tend to spiritual matters. “After all,” they thought to themselves, “we are monks and that is what monks do.”

One morning after breakfast, the students asked their teacher, “If you have been training monks for years, why are there no other older monks here in the mountains with us? There is only you and us. Where are all the monks that you trained that we have heard so many incredible stories about? Where do they live?” The wise and loving teacher smiled and drank the last drop of tea in his cup. “Gather all your belongings,” he said. “We are going on a journey.” For three days, the teacher led the students down the great mountain, walking in silence, and at times singing a gentle melody that blended perfectly with the sounds of nature around them.

As they approached the foothills, the teacher and students stopped and gazed at the bustling, almost chaotic markets below, where countless people were busily going about all the activities of daily life. With the solitude and peace of the mountains now behind them, the students were not sure why they had come to look at the people, but they were confident that they would soon return to the peace of their mountain home and their teacher would explain it to them. But, instead, the teacher continued down the last stretch of land before the market. The students followed. As they approached the market, they could see people of all ages and backgrounds: a few were happy, but most were not; most were in pain or suffering.

The teacher stopped once again, and turned to face his students. He looked up to the mountain that reached into the sky behind them and said, “I will now answer your question about where all the monks are that I’ve trained. But first you should know that there are two kinds of monks, those who live in the mountains and those who live in the market. The ones in the mountains are good monks, but the ones who live in the market are great monks! The reason why there are no other monks in the mountains with us is that I only train great monks, and the only way to become great is through actively serving and educating humanity, not by just praying and meditating, but through action.

Now, you are all ready to do great things, to live among the people, serving, bringing enlightenment to the world, not just to yourselves. Your last year of training begins now, living with the people in the market and villages. And remember: peace, power, knowledge, joy, and healing are within you—you are the mountain, you are the reflection of the rays of sunlight, you are the flowing stream of the great river that leads to the ocean of light, you are the leaf that gently floats in the wind above the treetops. The beauty and power you recognize in our mountain home is just a reflection of your own hearts. Open your hearts to the world and know that you are soul.”


The students remained silent for several minutes as they contemplated what their future would hold. One student then asked, “Master, may we never return to see you at the top of our mountain home, in that beautiful place we’ve grown to love?” The wise and loving teacher answered, “Dear ones, you must return, every morn and eve, I will be waiting for you.” Another student asked, “How is this possible, Master, when the journey takes three days?” The teacher gently closed his eyes, inhaled a pure and deep breath, exhaled, slowly opened his eyes, and said, “The only way to ascend the mountain every morn and eve is through meditation. In that sacred space of your enlightened mind, where we are all one, you can ascend that spiritual mountain that is not made of rock and dust, but of light and love. This is the true mountain that has no physical peak. There, among the windflowers and streams of light, will we meet as one soul. There, will you refresh and rejuvenate your spirit. Then, as you arise from meditation, will you carry that loving energy to all beings great and small.”

There is more to the story, but the key point of action is clear—you must act to fully embody the benefits and blessings of meditation and to create true growth and lasting transformation. Here’s my system to help you do that.

With love to all,


Author of:

5 Steps to a Happy, Healthy, Wealthy YOU!

Natural Healing: seven simple ways to self-healing.

2 Responses to “The Joy of Meditative Action

  • Jackie Schwart
    4 years ago

    Beautiful story, Ben.

    • Benjamin Koen
      4 years ago

      Thanks Jackie…this story has so many memories wrapped up in it for me personally, and also seems to touch people. I’ve thought of continuing this story into a book…we’ll see 🙂

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